I see this a lot on the cover of books. I saw it in the library last week and I thought, isn’t the very nature of a first edition that it hasn’t been published before? Then I realized, this author has been around for a while. It got me to thinking, what is the significance of a new book by a well seasoned author having the “Never Before Published” tagline added to the cover? Is it really just a marketing tool, or is there something more?
Michael Crichton’s Pirate Latitudes was published sometime after he passed away. But he had been a literary giant among science fiction fans for the latter part of the 20th century by that time. All we know for certain is that Crichton’s family found the completed manuscript among his things. For all we know, he could have actually finished writing it shortly after Eaters of the Dead.
On the other hand, I don’t recall seeing Never Before Published on the book in question. But that could be the main difference between literature and trendy best sellers.